Saturday, February 1, 2014

Squirrel Caught... and released!

So this is Burrel the Squirrel. We caught him about a week and a half ago now. He was none too happy with me when I evicted him from the house. I doubt he's happy now, because we have more snow than we did when he got evicted and he doesn't have the "warm" confines of the chimney anymore to keep him cozy. He also lost his steady supply of nuts. Ah well. Thanks for the memories Burrel!

Monday, January 20, 2014

There's squirrels in my... chimney!

So we've had a visitor from the trees in our chimney for over a week now. We've been feeding the little darling, who we've named Burrel, watering him, and keeping the cat and dog away from the fireplace. We've tried a homemade trap and we've now set a live bait trap. I'm hoping the little darling finds his way into the trap soon, because I'm running out of pecans and cashews to feed him. Frankly I think we've made it too cozy. Ah well. Perhaps if I blasted the "squirrels in my pants" song, he'd get sick of it and come out. Perhaps that will be our next try. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Did I forget something??

Oh, cheese and crackers! I forgot in all the chaos of the last 4 years that we had a blog! My bad.

There is too much to catch you up on, because 4 years of experience cannot be documented in a blog post, but I can tell you we've had quite the experiences. From Jenny getting a new job to Jenny going into "early retirement"; Kaylee starting Young 5's to Kaylee getting into 1st grade and playing soccer; and Tim leaving one job, going to another, and then going back to old job; we've had quite the time. 

In there we've had a few notable moments : Birthdays, deaths, triumphs, not so triumphant moments, vacations, pets, and a ton of other things that have shaped us and given us immense joy and immense sorrow. A few I can easily name:

  • Getting a new dog - Muggs
  • Starting school: Jenny, Kaylee, and Tim (at different times of course)
  • Starting and leaving jobs
  • Kitchen remodel
  • Kaylee playing soccer
  • Jenny's mom's cancer diagnosis (2010 and again in 2013)
  • Our beloved cat Tinkerbelle's death
  • Loved ones passing
  • More loved ones entering the world
  • Family vacations to Cedar Point
And that's just a few. I won't bore you with details of our antics, but know we've been busy. Now that I (Jenny) am home full time, I can start remembering that I have a blog again and you'll hear from us more often. 

Wilber the Party Pig

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why do I smell smoke?

Monday morning (bright and early, now that she's on her "regular" 7am work schedule) Jen woke me up to tell me that the interior lights and the radio in her car didn't work. The car started OK, though, so we figured it wasn't worth worrying about. About 20 minutes later, Jen called me (just so everyone is aware, I'm *not* a morning person) to say that the keyless entry stopped working as well...she had to lock the doors the old fashion way.

She got home that night just fine, so I figured it was just a blown fuse. Of course, it's like 15 degrees outside and I'm trying to look in the fuse box under the dash. And the fuses are 3 inches inside the dash, so I'm scraping my frostbitten hands up trying to pull a fuse out. The fuse for the radio/clock was fine; there were about 3 fuses labeled "Lights" and I wasn't going to try to check each one.

Here's where the story gets a little strange. I Googled the issue, and after some search changes, I found a site dedicated to Subaru Foresters that mentioned the exact same issue. There's an unlabeled fuse in the engine compartment fuse box that actually controls every item we were having trouble with (interior lights, clock, radio, keyless entry). I find the fuse and pull it, sure enough, it's blown. And the fuse box has spare fuses already, so I replaced it quickly and easily.

One of the forums I'm on has a number of Subaru drivers, so I figured I'd share the story just in case anyone else runs into it. While writing up the post, I realize that I should include the actual number of the fuse. The owners manual was sitting in the passenger's seat (where I had left it while I was in the drivers seat going through the interior fuses). I went outside, opened the passenger door (happy that the dome light was working again) and opened up the manual.

Out of the corner of my eye, though, I see this lightshow on the snow under the car--under the open passenger door, to be specific. Then I start to smell smoke.

I stopped and looked under the door. Hanging from the door are two wires, on the end of which appears to be some sort of small wiring harness. Or at least that's what it used to be, because at that point it was actually a little ball of flame. There was enough wire for me to maneuver the harness away from the door so that nothing else got burned. After about 15 seconds, one of the wires finally melted out and the sparking stopped; the plastic burnt itself out shortly after. I ran around to the drivers side, popped the hood, and pulled the new fuse back out.

I finally had a chance to see what the issue was. Coming out from between the interior plastic door panel and the metal door frame were these wires and harness. The plastic panel is against the door frame *tight*. I put the quarter in the picture to give some reference--there's no way that this harness just fell out; it couldn't have possibly fit between the panel and the door frame.

After some more research (I didn't eat dinner until 10pm Monday night) I found that this is the harness for the light that is in the bottom corner of the door. The light comes on when the interior lights come on. When I opened the passenger door to read the owners manual, these wires powered up and either the damage from the harness being shut in the door or just the snow shorted it out. My best guess is that it's been like this for a while--at some point, the passenger door was probably frozen shut, and in a massive show of strength, someone opened it...separating out the interior panel from the door frame and popping the harness off the light. It fell through the gap, then the door was finally opened.

Most people know I'm not a big one for Providence...I don't think God cares what color shirt I wear or who wins the football game. But sometimes you're just being looked over, and there's no denying it. Had I not decided to post about the fuse--leading me to go back out to the car, open the passenger door, and have the harness burn itself out while hanging in mid-air, Jen might have wound up with the harness catching fire when she was heading to work or somewhere in town. It could have been close enough to the interior panel to start it burning, at which point we'd be talking about a real car fire.

I put the blown fuse back into the fusebox for right now, which means Jen doesn't have any tunes while driving. It's a small sacrifice until I can figure out a way to cap off the hot wire in that pair and tuck it back into the door panel.

Friday, December 25, 2009

One of those posts only a parent can appreciate...

Kaylee has not been pooping regularly lately. About two weeks ago she started holding it in, complaining that her "poopoo hurt". After a week we figured we should do something about it, and I went to the drug store to get some "medicine to put in her bottom" (as we described it to her). While I was gone, Jen convinced Kaylee that her belly was getting bigger and that it would explode if she didn't get the poo out. I guess Kaylee darted to the bathroom and, after much screaming, went.

We wound up back in the same situation about 5 days later, but had to use the suppositories. Kaylee's reaction after they kicked in was priceless (she almost blew herself off the toilet), and she was in much better spirits afterward. We had to do it all over again a few days later.

I did some reading and learned that it's not an uncommon problem--you have that one painful poop and the kid gets scared of it in the future. A lot of people suggested Miralax--a powdered laxative that helps soften everything up. We went with that. We hit the road to visit friends and family (maybe laxatives before road trips aren't a good idea, but it worked out in the end...ha, punny) and Kaylee started complaining about her poopoo hurting while we were at Aunt Lisa's house. Jen and I both sat with her, and finally she went...and went, and went. Jen had to clean their toilet afterward. And Kaylee pretty much has eaten non-stop ever since.

Aunt Pam helped her go a little on Tuesday morning, but she's still been noticeably scared. Today I got her up and on the potty, and she was happy to sit there because it postponed her nap. And she filled up the toilet again. But this time, she told me "I'm not scared of my poopoo anymore!" I was so proud I had to resist getting the camera to take pictures of her evacuation.

Maybe we're past this little phase finally...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Tim!

I know we haven't updated in a while, but I just wanted to put a shout-out up to our dear Timothy! His birthday is today and though we aren't doing a lot for his birthday this year, I wanted to make sure he knew Kaylee and I were thinking about him. Also, I wanted to take time and remember some of the great "Tim" moments from this year (and perhaps a little earlier)!

  • Kaylee and Tim "daddy-daughter" dates are always a great one. Earlier this year I took a belly dancing class at the YMCA and so on Saturdays, for about two months, there would be daddy-daughter dates. These dates started the new Laird tradition of our weekly Saturday trips to Cost Co. and the Grocery store. I love these trips and glad that the Daddy-Daughter dates were a start to them.
  • Tim and Pebbles - Though, we had to put our dog Pebbles down this year, Pebbles always loved walks with Tim. He would take her around the block even when it was snowy (in past years...) These walks in the snow were funny because when Pebbles would get to the end of the block and stop to cross the street she would turn circles and spin. It was extremely funny to watch. Tim trained her to stop at the corners and the first time I went with them for one of their "ice" walks he was so proud to show her "spin" move off! It was great.
  • Another Tim and Pebbles moment was our last day with Pebbles. It was hard, but it was good. I'll never forget it. Thanks Tim and Pebbles for that day!
  • Vacation this year - It was our 10th anniversary and Tim and I went to a "secret" location after dropping Kaylee off to spend a few days with Mom and Dad Laird. We had a lot of fun while not doing much at all! Leave it to Tim to make going to get pizza, or sitting reading a book fun! I love our little "do nothing" vacations!
  • Phineas and Ferb - Tim got the entire family interested in the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb. It's now one of our favorite things to do together. Watch Perry the platypus defeat Dr. Doofenshmirtz and then watch Candice try to bust Phineas and Ferb as they make some sort of wild contraption! Perry the Lawn Gnome forever!
  • My last one is Pancake Saturdays... Each Saturday, Tim and Kaylee now make pancakes together. He's such a great Da and lets her help him in the kitchen. She pulls up her chair and stands next to him and they make Pancakes together for all of us. Its one of those things as a mom that makes you want to cry when you see it, especially on those days when you're feeling weepy anyway and you haven't had your tea yet:)
Well Happy Birthday Honey! You mean the world to us and I hope you have a great Day!

Kaylee Raquel, Jen, Tinkerbelle, and Drusifer (the naughty black cat)

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Pre-3 year old Post

For those of you that aren't following us on Facebook, just an update for how Kaylee is doing:

She's sleeping in a toddler bed now. After spending a few days at Grandma and Grandpa's house sleeping in (well, on) a sleeping bag with Katie and Bubbie, the transition was pretty simple. It's a good thing, too--Jen hurt her back, and probably wouldn't be able to get Kaylee out of the crib right now.

Bedtime is still a chore, but I've been very surprised that, no matter how resistant Kaylee is to going to bed, she whines and cries *while staying in bed*. My biggest fear was that she'd just get out of bed to defy us, but that hasn't happened.

We're *so* close on potty training. Kaylee is wearing underwear most of the time at home now, including during naps. It's almost time to start sending her to daycare in underwear, which should really help--I'm firmly of the opinion now that Pullups are nothing more than diapers that make parents feel like they're doing something.

Kaylee still won't poop on the potty, but we're working on it. Instead of telling us that she has to go, she tells us "I need a diaper!". We go sit on the potty, and if she pees she doesn't seem to want a diaper any more. She still wants to poop in one, though.

She still loves going for walks, going to the store, and wants to eat nothing but chicken nuggets, so nothing much has changed there. She loves to help around the house--I've just got to start finding ways that her helping can really help, instead of resulting in more work for us. But you've gotta nuture the attitude first.

Here's some pictures from the recent past; if you haven't been following Jen's progress, she's lost a LOT of weight this year (I won't say how much, because you never discuss specifics with your wife's weight), so the pictures of her below aren't doctored--she's really that skinny now.